The 6th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest – aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

Ear of frog and toe of newt!  It’s finally time for . . .



The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words, children here defined as 12 and under), using the words spider, ghost, and moon.   Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. moon, moons, mooned, spidery, ghostly, whathaveyou 🙂  No illustration notes please!

Post your story on your blog between right now this very second and Monday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Perfect Picture Book post on Friday Oct. 28 so the post and the list of links will stay up all weekend for everyone to enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! Please place your entry in the body of the email – NO ATTACHMENTS!)  P.S.  Although I try to stay glued to my computer 24/7 I am sometimes forced to leave my desk.  If you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment won’t show up until I approve it.  It may take a little while if I’m away from my desk.  Likewise, if you send me an entry to post, I promise I will do it as soon as I can!

The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 7th.  The winner will be announced on either Wednesday November 9 or Thursday November 10.  If we get more than 20 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st through 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turn out we did last year, all bets are off.  I may post as many as 10 finalists and I’ll probably end up giving everyone a prize 🙂  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it 🙂

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 🙂  Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
  • 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

The Prizes:

–  a Picture Book Manuscript Critique by wonderful editor Marilyn Brigham of Two Lions!!!


Marilyn Brigham

Marilyn Brigham edits picture books, chapter books, and middle grade for Two Lions, the children’s imprint at Amazon Publishing. Her recent titles include Go to School, Little Monster by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Bonnie Leick and The Secret Knock Club: The Great Sleep-Under, by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud, illustrated by Adam McHeffey. She is looking for commercial, character-driven picture books and chapter books; holiday picture books; and widely appealing, high-concept middle grade. She is not currently acquiring board books or nonfiction.

– a Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the fabulous agent Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary Agency!!!


Jodell Sadler

– winner’s choice of a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a 15-minute phone call for all your writerly questions from fantastic author Katy Duffield (LOUD LULA – Two Lions 2015, FARMER MCPEEPERS AND HIS MISSING MILK COWS – Cooper Square Publishing 2003, ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO – forthcoming from Candlewick, and many other titles)


Katy Duffield

–  winner’s choice of a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Query Letter Critique from amazing author Dori Kleber (MORE-IGAMI, Candlewick  2016)


Dori Kleber

– a Picture Book Manuscript Critique from the awesome Vivian Kirkfield, author of the forthcoming SWEET DREAMS, SARAH – Creston Books, 2017) AND personalized signed copies of her wonderful books SHOW ME HOW and the LUCKY DRAW ANTHOLOGY.


Vivian Kirkfield

–  a Bundle Of Books from KidLit411 (must be selected by someone in the USA due to postage) including:
Picture Books:

THEY ALL SAW A CAT by Brendan Wenzel

Middle Grade Books:

SUNNY SIDE UP Jennifer and Matthew Holm

(What a totally awesome book bundle for writers, readers, parents, teachers, or gift-givers!!!)

– a 6 month subscription to One Stop For Writers (value $50)

– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books.

– a personalized signed copy of THE PEDDLER’S BED by Lauri Fortino


– a personalized signed copy of GRIMELDA THE VERY MESSY WITCH by Diana Murray


Please join me again in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for holiday or other gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N or anywhere else if you like them, or supporting them in any other way you can dream up 🙂

Now then.  Time for my sample entry which I provide because I would never ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.  Also, in case anyone is worried about the quality of their entry they have only to read my truly horrific attempt to be filled with confidence that their’s is MUCH better!  I have to confess, I was really down to the wire this year (my schedule is a little bit nuts!), I have a deadline for tomorrow… which also means I may be a little behind getting started reading entries… just so you know… but I digress!

So, here goes nothing…!

Won’t You Come Into My Parlor…? (100 words)

The Halloweensie Spider was lonesome as could be.
“Nobody ever comes to visit me.
“I know!” she said.  “I’ll plan a big to-do!”
So she sent out invitations to everyone she knew.

The Halloweensie Spider got ready for her guests.
Hot apple cider and candy treasure chests.
Games organized for lots of friendly fun
Like Pumpkin Golf, a Witch Ring Toss, and Find The Skeleton.

The Halloweensie Spider stood at her moonlit door
Greeting the witches, goblins, ghosts, and more.
“So glad you came!” she told them with a smile.
“Forgive my sticky floors, but I hoped you’d stay awhile!”

Everyone feeling better about their stories now?  I should certainly HOPE so! 🙂

Also, this is so weird I just have to share it.  I realized belatedly that totally by chance, my sample entry from last year also included the 3 words from this year.  Look!

Halloween Surprise! (100 words)

Halloween.  Trick-or-treat.
Spooky shadows.  Darkened street.
Suddenly my brother, Jay,
Tugs my arm.  “Let’s go this way!”
He pulls me off the beaten track,
Passes Old Man Clancy’s shack.
Creeping fog licks at our heels.
I don’t like the way this feels.
Something glides in silent flight,
Ghostly shapes against the night.
“Witches!  Let’s go home!” I say.
“Owls.  Let’s go on,” says Jay.
Spidered moonlight through the trees.
Heartbeat pounding.  Shaky knees.
Up ahead this haunted night
Monsters dance by bonfire light!
Turning!  Running!
Costumed monsters end disguise.
Cake and presents, friends who say,
“Happy Halloween Birthday!”

How weird is that?!  But I figured it would be cheating to use it again 🙂

I can’t wait to read all of your entries!  I’m so looking forward to them!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still nearly 5 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc.  The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!

So!  I don’t love this link system, but it’s all I have, so my apologies and do your best with it, and let’s hope it works!

Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the linky list below so we can all come read your awesome stories!  (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)

Eager Readers – you ALSO need to click the “click here” to add your entry button on the linky list just to see the list of links.  I apologize profusely for the inconvenience of not having the list visible right here on my site.  But this, apparently, is wordpress…

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! 🙂

 And don’t miss the 90 fabulous entries in the comments below!
Trick Or Treat – Lesley/Maggie
Untitled – Sherry
Teensy-Weensy Witch Strikes Back – Julie
Candy Korn – Karen
Haunt The Vote –
Moon Spell – Rebecca
Hesper’s Revenge – Michele
Entry #1 – Dave
Entry #2 – Dave
Sylvia’s Best Halloween – Susan
A Little Erie Gift – Kathy
Untitled – Eleanor
What Should Witch Be For Halloween – Robin
The Treat Escape – Maria
Mordecai Moon – Kathryn
Spider’s Halloween Treat – Lisa
Spider And Ghost At Halloween – Polly
Spider’s Scary Night – Claire
Gregor The Ghost – Joan
Spider-Ghost – Kelly
Into The Forest – Kirsten
Spencer Spider: Master Spinner – Lorraine
Halloween Toast – Elizabeth
Goober The Ghost And The Scariest Night Of The Year – Joni
The Sun’s Halloween Party – Alice
The Spiders Who Stole Halloween – Kristen
The Broom Of All Brooms – Tracy
Spiderling’s Ghost Moon – Kathleen
Boo You’re It – Anne
What Owl Didn’t Know – Charlotte
Halloween Dog – Barbara
Itsy And Bitsy’s Halloween Treat – Becky
Monster Chef – Kristy
Sarah Spider’s Curse – Jennifer
Halloween Surprise – Jessica
The Spider Ghost’s Curse – Anne
Little Witch’s Holiday – Jen
Trick Or Treat – Melissa
Little Ghost Lost – Anne
Spider’s Trick Or Treat – Sara
Booboo Ghostie Caught A Sneezy – Ann
BooBoo Finds A Friend – Sydney
Spider And Moon – Jennifer
Entry #1 – Hilary
Entry #2 – Hilary 
The Ghost Of The Moon Spider – Susie
Little Spider’s Magic Halloween – Marty
Gilford’s Halloween – Sarah
Crinkle-Snap – Jill
The Dare – Sandy
On Halloween Night – Rocio
Untitled – Laura
What Spiders Dream – Mike
Sick Or Treat – Candy
The Ghoulie-Gold Fairy – Emily
Little Miss Zombie – Ingrid
Kali And Asha – Jessica & Noah
Trick Or Treat – Marie
Ghost And Spiders – Jerry
Halloween For Real – Mary
The Halloween Moon – Lisa
Everyone’s Afraid Of Something – Debbie
Let’s Trick-Or-Treat! – Katherine
Spider And Ghost – Jim
Ghosts Say Boo – Danielle
Moon’s Halloween – Marilyn
Frankie’s Fabrication – Amanda
The Witch’s Broom – Judy
A Headless Halloween – Jill
Aunt Claire’s Soul Cake – Corinne
Tree’s Halloween Costume – Linda
Beware The Full Moon Halloween – Sharon
Itty Boo Ghost – Monica
Woody Sings On Halloween – Bev
The Spider And The Fly – Gabrielle
Webster’s Spin – Carol
Spider’s Halloween Hunt – Kristen
Scaredy-Cat-Pat – Sara
Ding Dong – Elaine
Ghost Saves Halloween – Jessica
Spiderella – Sam
After Trick-Or-Treat – Kate
Untitled – Heather Elizabeth
Dare – Merriweather
Sticky Candy Bag – Nancy
Moon’s Halloween Surprise – Stefanie
A Halloween Story – Tonya
Pup’s First Halloween – Ellen
One Good Trick Deserves Another – Marc
Four Finicky Ghosties – Shelley
Ready, set, GO!  aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!! 🙂

540 thoughts on “The 6th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest – aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Halloween Dog by Barbara DiMarco

    As the sun set, Tiny began her usual Halloween custom…hiding under the couch till morning. Tiny wasn’t a Halloween kind of dog.
    “Not yet,” sang her owner. “It’s wee-wee time!”
    Teeny Tiny snorted at the damp grass under her paws. She shivered against the chill in the air. She scoffed and finally squatted. Suddenly, the sky cleared. Timid Tiny found herself gazing at the full autumn moon! Something twitched her tail. A spider? A ghost? No.
    It was a feeling…filling her stomach, rising in her throat, leaping straight out her mouth…”AAAHHRooo! AAAHHROOOO!”
    “YAAHROOOOOooo!” replied the other Halloween dogs.

  2. Becky Scharnhorst says:

    Here is my entry! Whew. Now I can sit back and relax while I enjoy reading all the stories already posted. 🙂 Thanks again, Susanna, for organizing such a fun contest!

    Itsy and Bitsy’s Halloween Treat
    by Becky Scharnhorst

    Itsy and Bitsy scurried down the path and scuttled up separate trees. Working together, they spun a giant web that shimmered in the moonlight.
    “I think it’s our best yet,” said Itsy.
    “Quick! They’re coming!” said Bitsy.
    They lowered themselves into position as doorbells dinged in the distance. Soon, they spied three little ghosts skipping toward them.
    “Boo!” yelled Itsy.
    “Trick or Treat!” yelled Bitsy.
    “Spider!” yelled the ghosts.
    The buckets flew up, the candy fell down, and all three ghosts raced back to town.
    “Happy Halloween!” said the spiders as they climbed on their web to feast.

  3. Kristy Rachal says:

    Monster Chef by Kristy Rachal

    Ghost Gabby was ready
    All chefs gathered ‘round,
    To win the grand prize as
    The best chef in town.

    The first round was tough for
    her warm worm soufflé
    It teetered but steadied
    (some worms slid away).

    The next round was better
    Great pasta with ease
    She topped it with spiders
    And parmesan cheese.

    The moon glowed above as
    She cooked her last meal.
    It had to be perfect,
    I’ve got this! she squealed.

    “Ghost Gabby, Scream Soup is
    The best of the day
    3 cheers for Chef Gabby,
    Hip Hip Howl Hooray!!!”

  4. Jennifer Laughlin says:

    Sarah Spider’s Curse

    Sarah Spider is cursed.
    Under the Halloween moon, Sarah transforms into a ghost.
    But what do ghosts do?
    Sarah hides in dimly lit corners – BOO!
    And they scream.
    Sarah snatches candy from bags – MUAHAHA!
    And they scream.
    Sarah mumbles creepy noises – CRREEEEAK!
    And they scream.
    Sarah is sad. She doesn’t like making them scream.
    But that is what ghosts do.
    Sarah is glad it’s done on November 1.
    Maybe Sarah Spider is blessed.

  5. jessicadunnagan says:

    Halloween Surprise by Jessica Dunnagan

    Bright night,
    rising moon,
    Halloween is here.

    Friends are gathered—
    Spider, squirrel, raccoon, and ghost—
    Almost time to trick or treat.

    Cloudy night,
    Hiding moon,
    Sky is changing.

    What’s this falling?
    Drifting, dancing,
    Soft and white.

    Ghost is worried,
    What to do?
    Halloween is here.

    Stepping out,
    Testing snow,
    Cold and deep.

    Spider, squirrel, and raccoon
    Sinking down, faces peeking,
    Now they’re stuck.

    Floating ghost
    Saves the day:
    Frying pan with rope attached.

    Pulling friends
    Across the snow,
    Ghost sets off to trick or treat.

    Swirling snowflakes,
    Cozy creatures,
    Halloween is here!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Nice job, Jessica! Love the challenge of the snow, and how ghost saves the day with quick thinking! Love the repetition of “halloween is here”, and some of your beautiful language like the “hiding moon”! Thanks so much for joining in the Halloweensie fun!

  6. Anne Lambelet (@AnneLambelet) says:

    This is my first time entering this contest. It just seemed like so much fun I couldn’t resist! Thanks for hosting! Hope you enjoy my story:) Happy Halloween!!

    The Spider Ghost’s Curse by Me!…Anne Lambelet (100 words)
    “Alright!” Jason, cried, sprinting ahead. “These people put out a whole bowl of candy! ‘Please take only one.’ Yeah right!”
    “Leave some for everyone else!” I cautioned, but he greedily swiped every last piece. Suddenly, a giant spider scuttled out of the empty bowl. Panicking, Jason stomped it into goo. From the smudge on the sidewalk, a huge ghost arose, blotting out the moon.
    “Now you will be cursed forever!” it howled.
    Jason started shrinking, spindly new limbs growing and black hair covering everything. Afterwards, I scooped him up shaking my head. I told him he should’ve only taken one…

  7. Jen Bagan says:

    Amazing entries so far! Susanna – you’ll have your work cut out for you! 🙂

    Little Witch’s Holiday

    Little Witch loved this time of year.
    She loved the bright glow of the moon over the swirling leaves.
    And how the air smelled like smoke.
    “My favorite holiday is tomorrow! I have much to do!”
    Little Witch’s friends knew not to interfere.
    Spider watched her gather pumpkins.
    Ghost watched her unload sweet treats.
    Cat watched her sweep her front steps.
    Finally, Little Witch was ready.
    The doorbell rang and she peeked out the window.
    Her friends were dressed up and waiting on her doorstep.
    She smiled. It was time.
    Little Witch threw open her door and shouted,
    “Happy Thanksgiving!”

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    TRICK OR TREAT (99 word count)

    By Melissa Stoller

    On the night before Halloween, the spookiest creatures assembled.

    “Trick or treat?”

    “Treat!” said Spider.

    Goblins threw a fly into her web.

    “Trick or treat?”

    “Trick!” said Ghost.

    Goblins blew through him.

    “Trick or treat?”

    “Both!” said Witch.

    Goblins flew her broom in loop-de-loops.

    And presented a chocolate, pumpkin-shaped cupcake.

    Finally, Werewolf’s turn arrived.

    “Trick or treat?”

    “Neither,” he barked under the full moon.

    “I’m waiting for Halloween!”

    The next day, wearing a sheep costume, Werewolf handed out oodles of treats and performed monstrous tricks.

    Goblins and children alike howled with fright and delight – a Halloween dream come true.

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    (100 words)
    By Anne Bromley

    On a dark new moon night, Little Ghost glided through trees draped in spider silk. He finally floated into town, landing in the middle of the Halloween parade.
    Flinching at drums and horns, shrieks and howls, he searched for familiar faces.
    But they were nowhere in sight.
    Mingling with werewolves and witches, princesses and pirates, he finally slipped into Cinderella’s Court.
    “What a fine ghost you are! What is your wish?”
    He whispered, “Please find Mom and Dad.”
    As Cinderella’s wand sliced the air, she screamed, “A real ghost!”
    Two more flew out of the crowd. “Yes! He’s our son!”

  10. ~Yvette says:

    This has been such a hoot!! My family and I are loving these stories; there are so many clever writers here👏 Your prize list is fun, fun, fun, too. Thank you all for such a wonderful experience and graciousness. I’m gushing, better run. ✍💪~Yvette

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      So glad you’re having fun, Yvette! I love seeing all the wonderful creative ideas and great writing everyone comes up with! It’s getting to the point where it wouldn’t feel like Halloween without Halloweensie 🙂

  11. Sara Gentry says:

    Thanks for another fun contest and writing challenge, Susanna!

    Spider’s Trick or Treat
    By Sara Gentry

    The Itsy-Bitsy Spider walked up the moonlit street,
    knocked on a door and hoped for something sweet.
    Out popped a ghost, scared Spider off her feet.
    Guess the Itsy-Bitsy Spider forgot it’s TRICK or Treat!

  12. Ann Kelley says:

    I really love reading all these clever stories! Thanks, Susanna for all you do!!! Happy Halloweensie!

    by Ann Kelley

    Booboo Ghostie caught a sneezy.
    “Hilda Spider, help me, pleasey.”

    “Crumpled Cobwebs! You are germy.
    Gulp this stew- it’s warm and wormy.”

    “Achoo! Icky. Now I’m queasy.
    Hilda Spider, cure me, pleasey.”

    “Do not worry, Booboo Ghostie.
    Nibble on this Zombie toastie.
    Sip this brew of Ghoulish cider.
    Hocus Pocus! Open wider.”

    “Now I glow like moldy cheesy.
    Hilda Spider, cure me, pleasey!”

    “Broken Broomsticks! You’re still illy.
    Try my mash of Moonbeam chili.”

    “Eeks! I’m spewing. It’s too bitter.
    But I shine like moonstone glitter.
    Empty tummy! I feel dandy.
    Lots of room for munching candy.”

  13. Sydney O'Neill says:

    BooBoo Finds a Friend

    Spider’s web shimmers, twinkling in bright moonlight. Swarms of admiring fireflies arrive just in time for dinner.

    “Oh, it’s beautiful,” says BooBoo. In a flash, fireflies vanish.

    “Get lost, ghost!” yells Spider. Poor BooBoo.

    Fox crouches among willows. Mouse warily sniffs the breeze. Hide-n-seek!

    “May I play?” asks BooBoo. Mouse scampers away.

    “Get lost, ghost!” yells Fox. Poor BooBoo.

    Bear paws at a crevice─reaches for something inside.

    “Whatcha doing?” asks BooBoo.

    “Get lost, ghost!” growls Bear. Poor BooBoo.

    “Help! Help!” a voice calls from the crevice.

    “Stop!” BooBoo demands, growing very scary. Bear scats.

    BooBoo finds a friend.

    ©2016 by Sydney O’Neill

      • Sydney O'Neill says:

        Thanks, Vivian! Unfortunately, it’s not about Halloween. My grandkids asked who the friend was and decided they wanted the friend to be a child, so here goes another try. 🙂

    • Sydney O'Neill says:

      I got so carried away with the story, I forgot to follow the instruction to make it about Halloween. Here’s a Halloween revision:

      BooBoo Finds A Friend

      Spider’s web shimmers, twinkling in bright moonlight. Swarms of admiring fireflies arrive just in time for dinner.

      “Oh, it’s beautiful,” says BooBoo.

      In a flash, fireflies vanish.

      “Get lost, ghost!” yells Spider.

      Poor BooBoo.

      Fox crouches among willows. Mouse warily sniffs the breeze. It’s hide-n-seek!

      “May I play?” asks BooBoo.

      Mouse scampers away.

      “Get lost, ghost!” yells Fox.

      Poor BooBoo.

      Bear smells sweets like honey—sheeted ghostie’s pail of treats.

      “Whatcha doing?” asks BooBoo.

      “Get lost, ghost!” growls Bear.

      Poor BooBoo.

      “Help! Help!” chased ghostie calls.

      “Stop!” BooBoo demands, growing very scary.

      Bear scats.

      Finally, BooBoo finds a friend.

      ©2016 by Sydney O’Neill

      • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

        Nice job, Sydney! Some of your language is beautiful – “Spider’s web shimmers, twinkling in bright moonlight” – and your story is fun and sweet. I love that Booboo could grow scary enough to scare bear in order to save ghostie, and I’m so glad Booboo found a friend in the end! Thanks so much for joining in the Halloweensie fun!

  14. Jennifer Rugge says:

    Spider and Moon

    “Ooooooooooooohooooo,” groans Wind.
    Moon grows full.
    She rises over the dark night,
    While ghosts fly
    And goblins dance around pumpkins;
    While Black Cat yeowels at Moon
    And mice skittle away.
    Spider creeps silently.
    She spins her web.
    Not here, but there…
    Across Moon.
    Quietly she weaves carefully, tirelessly, and joyfully.
    Finally she rests and waits
    While she warms her bones on Moon.
    She does not have the bones of Skeleton dangling at your door!
    Spider wears her bones on the outside as her skin!
    Watch! Spider warms herself on ol’ Hallows’ Eve.
    “Next to Mooooon,” whispers Wind.

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Witch hat on, broomstick handy.
    Knock on doors, take the candy.
    Halloween is lots of fun,
    Until we spot a spider–RUN!
    Kids all scatter. Everyone flees.
    ‘Someone, someone, kill it please!’
    ‘No!’ shouts a ghost, ‘He’s with me.’
    ‘He’s my tarantula, Spooky Lee.’
    Grab him up beneath moonlight.
    Helping friends. Happy sight.
    I’m looking around. Where’s my dad?
    I can’t find him. This is bad.
    Let’s not panic. Look for mom.
    Take deep breaths. Staying calm.
    ‘Mom,’ I yell. ‘Dad,’ I scream.
    They rush over and I beam.
    Halloween has been a blast.
    We’re all together home at last.

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    My costume’s on, then I run. Ghostly me scares everyone.
    But Halloween isn’t fun, if your mom’s a dentist.
    I trick-or-treat door to door, get moonpies, sweets galore.
    All that work–what a chore, if you’re mom’s a dentist!
    No m&ms, no spider cake, no licorice for goodness sake.
    No eating til your belly aches, if your mom’s a dentist.
    Getting late. Gotta scoot. Back home, I inspect my loot,
    Swapping it for ripened fruit, when your mom’s a dentist.
    But if you have a cavity and jack-o-lantern teeth like me
    You’ll be grinning happily, because your mom’s a dentist.

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    The Ghost of the Moon Spider
    By Susie Sawyer

    On Halloween night, the moon beckons bright.
    The ghost of the Moon Spider comes out to creep.

    A century old, transparent and cold,
    it searches for someone to bite in their sleep.

    With vampire fangs, it silently hangs
    until it can lower itself to your bed.

    Your neck in its sight, its venomous bite
    painstakingly planted goes straight to your head.

    Then slowly you’ll change. You’ll start to feel strange
    and you’ll hope that your nightmare will come to an end.

    Alas, it’s too late. His bite sealed your fate.
    The ghost of the Moon Spider now has a friend.

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Little Spider’s Magic Halloween (100 words) – Marty McCormick

    “Make me beautiful, just for tonight.”
    Little Spider’s fairy ghost-mother smiled. “A bit of magic. . .”
    She waved her wand. Little Spider felt instantly different.
    She scurried to the dance, where she whirled and twirled in the moonlight.
    Her friends cried, “You’re glowing! What’s happened?”
    “I’m just happy, that’s all.”
    Back home before midnight, she said, “Thank you, it was lovely. I’m ready to be Little Spider again.”
    “Nothing’s changed, my dear. The magic was in you. You’re still beautiful.”
    “I choose to feel this way always then, Little Spider murmured, settling into her web with a smile.
    And she did!

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Gilford’s Halloween

    Gilford Ghost knew three things:
    1. Halloween, the worst holiday, was quickly approaching.
    2. Full moon + Halloween = super spooky magic.
    3. He would not miss out!
    So he tried BOOS. Scary!
    He tried gliding. Clunky and scary!
    He tried lurking. Stiff and frail and scary!
    Gilford moped near the forest, admiring the agile acrobatics of spiders and silk. Then Gilford hatched a plan.
    On Halloween, Gilford’s BOOS were strong. His glides were light. His lurks were creepy and flexible. Just like spider silk.
    Gilford felt invincible in his spider silk coat with his new friends by his side.

  20. Jill Giesbrecht says:

    Fun contest – thanks so much, and Happy Halloween!

    CRINKLE-SNAP by Jill Giesbrecht (93words)

    CRINKLE-SNAP! I wake to inky blackness and bolt upright. Where is the moonlight when I need it?
    “Who’s there?” I squeak, frantically bending down and stretching under the bed to reach – IT’S GONE!
    “NO!!” Forgetting my fear, I leap out of bed.
    THUMP-BUMP! Clumsy clamoring echoes as I stumble for the switch.
    BLINK-BANG! A tumbling jumble of legs and arms splay like a smashed spider beside my closet.
    Empty wrappers, ghosts of my loot, trail across the floor.
    My Halloween candy had been stolen – and I caught my sneaky sisters in the act!

  21. Sandy Perlic says:

    The Dare

    Jake paused before the ramshackle house. No ghosts or spiders decorated the porch. No light shone for trick-or-treaters. But there was no way he could back out now.

    Breathing raggedly, he followed his shadow to the door and knocked.

    The door opened. A stooped old woman stood in the moonlight. Witch? Or not? His heart beat witchwitchwitchwitchwitch…

    “I’m afraid I haven’t any candy, young man.”

    Not witch! He knew it!

    Jake thought fast. “I have lots.” He held out his bag. “Would you like some of mine?”

    “I’d love some,” she cackled, her gnarled hand tangling with his. “Come in.”

  22. Rocio Monroy says:

    On Halloween night
    By Rocio Monroy

    On Halloween night,
    Pumpkins are scattered about.
    And just like the moon,
    They shine and they’re around.

    On Halloween night, the spiders come out.
    And with their eight legs they crawl fast on the ground.
    They make big cobwebs and then they hang from the trees
    To scare all the children that want to trick or treat.

    On Halloween night,
    Ghost appeared suddenly.
    People run and scream when they see them floating around,
    The ghosts say, “People, calm down,
    We’re not cruel. We’re not mean.
    We are only here to wish you
    A Happy Halloween.”

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Laura Gutman – 100 words

    Hilda hated Halloween. She never knew what to be. There were too many costume choices. She sipped her soda and thought. A spider? But eight legs would surely make it hard to walk. A ghost? Saying BOO all night from under a stuffy sheet sounded miserable. A werewolf? No, the moon was only a sliver. A skeleton? All bones, no meat. She slurped the last of her drink. She was wound up and had to pee. Maybe she’d skip Halloween altogether. Then she had the best idea yet. She burst out of the bathroom…a mummy. Tada! That’s a wrap.

  24. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    What Spiders Dream – Mike Sylvester
    (100 words)

    Spiders never see December. October is the end. When the moon wanes, the webs empty and the eggs wait like ghosts. I knew these things, every spider does, but it didn’t mean I had to give up the ghost easily. I built my web beneath a heating vent and hoped for the best. If I could see Christmas then maybe I could make spring. It was a pipe dream. It was my only dream.

    The day that I died was bitter cold. Halloween. The rain came. The web tattered. The titter of drops on pipes as I waited for May.

    • viviankirkfield says:

      I don’t like spiders in the house…but you had me feeling sorry for yours, Mike…and I loved ‘I built my web beneath a heating vent and hoped for the best…it was a pipe dream. That evokes a really vivid image for me…good job!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Oh my goodness, Mike! How unexpectedly poignant! I love this unusual spider POV, and I have to say, I was rooting for the spider to make it 😦 Nice use of language, and very original story! Thanks so much for joining in the contest!

  25. Candy Wellins says:

    Sick or Treat by Candy Wellins

    Bree shook and trembled, white as a ghost.
    Then suddenly hot like a piece of burnt toast.

    But this was not some Halloween trick.
    Poor little Bree was just plain sick.

    She itched to go out on this moonlit night
    To get lots of candy and give others a fright.

    Her mother said sorry. Dad said no way.
    Bree’d be in bed for this holiday.

    Spiders and witches paraded outside.
    Bree hid under her covers and cried.

    Knocks at the door. Giggles on the street.
    Her friends came to her! Bree cried “Sick or Treat.”

  26. Emily Veela says:

    The Ghoulie-Gold Fairy, by Emily Veela
    When Halloween night swoops over the earth on inky raven wings, what’s a golden-winged fairy to do? Owls hoot, witches brew, and sweet Fairy Goldfeather sighs…how’s a gold-feathered fairy to look ghoulish? Ghosts shouldn’t gleam gold, and witches don’t twinkle and make wishes come true. Ahh, wishes! “I wish I were a ghoulie-gold fairy tonight!” With a wave of her wand, Fairy Goldfeather’s wings glow in spiderweb lace and her gown gleams ghoulishly white. On spidery wings she glides through the night, blowing kisses like ghosties that float to the moon.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Oh, my! What a dilemma for a fairy, Emily – I never thought of that! 🙂 I’m so glad Fiary Goldfeather came up with a plan! And love some of your use of language – very pretty – “Fairy Goldfeather’s wings glow in spiderweb lace and her gown gleams ghoulishly white. On spidery wings she glides through the night…” Thanks so much for joining in the Halloweensie fun!

  27. ingridboydston says:

    Little Miss Zombie
    89 word Halloweensie Story
    By Ingrid Boydston

    Little Miss Zombie
    said “What a quandary!”
    Eating her full-moon stew.
    Along came ghost spider,
    who sat down beside her,
    hollering, “What will we do?!”

    “Stay calm and be cool.
    Don’t slobber or drool.
    Remember they think it’s a game.
    They wear costumes for fun;
    take them off when they’re done.
    They don’t know we are always the same.”

    “We don’t have a choice
    So lower your voice.
    We’ll just give them candy to eat.
    We can’t make a scene
    for tonight’s Halloween!”
    “Here they come! Open up…”

    These contest are such fun! Thank you Susanna, for making them happen!

  28. Jessica Hoffmann says:

    Thanks for offering this contest! My boyfriend and I had a lot of fun writing this story together =)

    Kali and Asha
    by Jessica Hoffmann and Noah Weisz

    Kali the spider was alone, watching the moon in the river. A girl named Asha walked up to her, wearing a baggy ghost costume.
    “What are you doing here?” asked the girl. “It’s Halloween. You should be out scaring people!”
    “I’m not scary,” said Kali, looking down. “All my friends went without me.”
    “I’m not scary either!” said Asha. “I’m too small.”
    “And I’m too smiley!”
    “Wait,” said Asha. “I have an idea!”

    Asha went back to the village, seemingly alone. But whenever she said “Trick or treat!”, the sound would come from a smiling spider, sitting on her tongue….

  29. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Trick Or Treat by Marie Tucker

    “Trick or treat!” they shout on Halloween night.
    “What have we here?” Ms. Witch continues with delight.
    “A goblin, a ghost, and a witch! Ooooo! What a fright!”
    Ghost drops his bag, hugs Goblin with all his might.
    “Oh! Don’t be frightened by little ol’ me.”
    Ms. Witch says “I have treats! Look! See!
    “Moon-pies, dipped apples, and spider-crisp jellies!”
    Goblin pries Ghost from his pillow padded belly.
    “Dipped apples sound nice. What are they dipped in?”
    Asks Little Witch with some apprehension.
    “An old family recipe, hot from my cauldron!”
    Kids turn tail screaming “Eeeeek!” as they run.

  30. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Ghost and Spiders by Jerry Watson

    “Am I the only fourth grader who hates Halloween,
    Max?” Julian said as Max purred and snuggled closer.
    “I like trick-or-treating for candy, but creepy
    spiders and spooky ghost costumes in the moonlight
    are too scary.”
    “Why are you scared of ghost?”
    “W-Who said that?”
    “I did.”
    “Wait a minute, y-you’re a ghost?”
    “Yes. And I’m sad.”
    “Sad? Why?”
    “Would you like it if kids dressed up like you
    just to scare people?”
    “I guess not, but how did you become a ghost?”
    “I’ll tell you, and then we’ll talk about spiders.”

  31. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Halloween for Real by Mary Rudzinski

    Yellow moon, black shadows
    Strange creatures crept to doorways
    Howls, screams floated through the air

    Trick or treating is no fun alone, thought Henry.
    A ghost and spider, stood side by side, glowing and glistening.
    “Walk together?” Henry asked. They just stared.
    Henry shrugged. “Let’s go”!

    The new friends followed silently.
    “Trick or treat” said Henry at the first house.
    Three bags quickly filled- plop, plop, plop.

    The friends walked, floated and crawled house to house, surprising neighbors.
    With bulging bags and aching arms, Henry yawned.

    “You’re the best!” Henry hugged goodbye!
    Two friends disappeared – invisible and trailing silk thread.

  32. lisabilla says:

    Susanna, thanks for a fun challenge, and Happy Halloween!

    (not sure my post worked, so apologies if this appears twice)

    The Halloween Moon

    As darkness grows, the round moon glows. Small spiders gather to ask Old Spider, “Tell us the Halloween story, PLEASE!” Old Spider begins, “Each month, the Great Sky Spider spins a giant egg sac, but the Halloween moon is special. When the moon is ready and a witch waves her wand, the egg sac opens. Countless ghosts fly out and drift to earth, moving through the night on magical clear threads.” A gust of wind whooshes the leaves, and something rustles. “Look, here they come now!” The small spiders scatter and hide, then creep out to beg, “Tell it again!”

  33. Norah says:

    Hi Susanna, What a great collection of stories you have gathered. I’ve linked mine with the Linky Tool. I hope that’s all I had to do. I’m looking forward to coming back and reading all of the entries after the contest closes (to make sure I don’t miss any!) Thanks for a fun contest!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Yes, Norah, that’s all! My fellow judges and I will get around to everyone, never fear 🙂 Looking forward to having a chance to read all the entries – there is so much busy/administrative work to do while the entries are going up that I don’t get to read everything until the contest closes! Enjoy reading all the entries!

      • Norah says:

        Thanks, Susanna. I’m pleased I entered correctly. I’m looking forward to reading all the stories. Thanks for a great contest. 🙂

  34. Three Show Saturday says:

    Thank you once again for hosting a fantastically fun contest! I love reading all the entries and also challenging myself to enter, but my absolute favorite thing, is the way these contests bring so many people together! Thank you for all your hard work and for providing this wonderful opportunity to so many fellow children’s literature fans.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      You’re very very welcome, Three Show! It is absolutely my pleasure! I love the contests for very same reasons, and I feel most fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community of talented, motivated, friendly writers who make it so much fun!

  35. Debbie Austin says:

    Everyone’s Afraid of Something

    My name’s Arachna. I’m a spider. Lots of people are afraid of me, especially on Halloween. No costume necessary.
    But I still need to get ready. I’ve got to climb above this doorway so I can drop down in front of the trick-or-treaters. Oh boy! Here comes a ghost now.
    “Trick or treat!”
    Watch this.
    “Aahhhh! Spider! Run away!”
    I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. Don’t you love that song? Want to see me moonwalk? Maybe later. Here comes another one. It’s going to be a busy night.
    Aahhhh! Dog! Run away! What can I say? Everyone’s afraid of something.

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